Can stains on your teeth be from amalgam fillings?

Two of my back teeth have old amalgam fillings in them, and I would like to get them removed. I’ve been reading a lot about getting rid of toxins, and one of the things that is mentioned frequently is removing amalgam fillings. My dentist seems reluctant to do this, and says that the fillings have stained my teeth and that the white fillings won’t look that good because of the staining.

I’ve never read anything about amalgam fillings staining your teeth! Is that for real? What makes that happen? What would get rid of that stain? Also, both teeth are more than half filling. Will the white composite material be strong enough and durable enough to fill that much of the tooth?

Thanks for your help with this.

Sven in Orlando, FL

Dear Sven,

Amalgam filling can cause discolorations, but usually not to the point that it becomes a problem, especially not in a back tooth. Even with some staining, it is unlikely that a composite filling will not look better than an amalgam filling.

It sounds as if your dentist is not comfortable with this procedure. Your best option is to ask him honestly if he is comfortable doing this, and if he says no or leaves you with the impression that he is not, do not press him to do something that he is not comfortable with.

There is some concern over the amount of tooth that needs to be filled. If too much of the tooth needs to be filled, you may need porcelain crowns instead of white fillings. White composite filling material bonds to your teeth, which makes your entire tooth structure stronger than an amalgam fillings would, but with so much of the tooth structure gone the remaining material may not be strong enough.

Thank you for reading this post – sponsored by Cleveland cosmetic dentist Dr. Goldstein.